Mom of 5 pays double rent, gets Food Stamps cut
Doing the right thing is not supposed to make things worse.
But try telling that to Sharon, whose name has been changed to protect her family’s privacy.
Several months ago, she lost her job and quickly got behind on her rent.
So when she got a new job working at a jewelry store, she worked extra shifts to try to catch up on her rent.
“I’ll be paying double rent for the next couple of months,” she said. “That doesn’t leave much for food.”
But because Sharon is making additional money, her Food Stamp subsidy was cut to $100 per month.
And that is not enough to feed four growing boys, ages, 3, 4, 5 and 8, as well as a 16-month-old baby girl.
“I have to pay cash for food and I don’t have it,” said Sharon who receives only one child support payment each month, “and that has to go to gas, so I can get to my job.”
With money that tight, it will be difficult if not impossible for Sharon to put anything under the tree for her kids.
“The older ones kind of understand, but I really don’t know how to explain it to the 4-year-old,” she said.
But now, thanks to the generosity of Mercury readers and Operation Holiday, she can hold off on that explanation for another year or so.
Food, which includes the fixings for a holiday dinner as well as staples for the pantry, is ordered, bought, packed and distributed by Mercury employees and Pottstown High School student government volunteers as part of Operation Holiday and will be delivered to Sharon and her family.
Gift cards for every child in the program 16 years of age or younger are purchased through Boscov’s and distributed in partnership with the referring agencies.
“That’s awesome,” said Sharon. “Thank you so much.”
Now in its 28th year, Operation Holiday has provided a brighter holiday season to thousands of families with children. Last year more than $42,000 in donations allowed the program to provide food and gifts for 147 families with 412 children in need.
The program was created and exists for children. The mission of Operation Holiday is to ensure that children of the Pottstown area have food to eat and gifts to open, no matter how poor or difficult their family situation may be.
There is no overhead with Operation Holiday and all funds stay in the Pottstown area. Families are referred by more than 20 local agencies and churches.
Funds are collected and audited in a non-profit foundation account managed by staff of The Mercury.
Operation Holiday does not accept families who have not been referred by an agency in order to protect the integrity of the program.
Operation Holiday is funded solely by readers’ contributions. All contributions are tax deductible.
Contributions should be mailed to The Mercury, Attn: Operation Holiday, 390 Eagleview Blvd., Exton, PA 19341. Make checks payable to Operation Holiday.